Court Says Travelers Can't Avoid Airport Searches

Old Aug 22, 07, 10:22 am
  #46  
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I think if an assault weapon is found (.22 lady pistol) the law enforcement authorities must get involved because it is an undeclared weapon and also concealed weapon issues may come into play. Cops at their end must verify whether this individual has a license for that weapon. If yes and no criminal history is found, then they should be given the choice to surrender it, not board, or under escort take it out of the airport.
I don't have a problem with this - the weapon, although not an 'assault weapon', is still not permitted in the sterile area no matter what. The finding of a weapon is germane to the administrative search.
If a cop pulls you over for a broken tail light and then upon closer inspection he discovers blood on that tail light then suspicion is raised which would warrant additional searches.
I can refuse the search, but the cop can get a warrant to search further. I have no such protection at the checkpoint - and I should.

Regardless of training though, as well as admissibility of item found, if a crime is being committed while under watch of a federal employee, then I believe it is the employee's duty to inform the authorities.
There is a huge difference between witnessing a crime in progress and finding some hidden drugs or paraphernalia which might be discovered during a search (not in the open) for a totally unrelated matter.

Does TSA have the right to forcefully detain you?
Absolutely not.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 10:26 am
  #47  
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Originally Posted by tsadude1 View Post
Let me set this straight. TSOs are not trained to identify drugs, none, nilch , nadda. If a TSO finds something that looks suspicious to them, then they report it and the LEOs make the determination as to what it is. That's it plain and simple. If you are the average Joe pax, who doesn't do drugs, why do you care if some cracked out freak goes to jail or is prevented from boarding your plane?
If it's not on the list of prohibited items, and not a danger to aviation, then why is it being reported to the LEO? That crap needs to be stopped. I don't care who is doing drugs, that's not my problem. I DO care when the Constitution is being ignored at the airport screening checkpoint - THAT is more important.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by tsadude1 View Post
1. Call a STSO and let them handle it.
ok, then, what would/should the STSO do?
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Old Aug 22, 07, 11:33 am
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
he doesn't have any items that will threaten the plane (bottled water excluded).
Can you prove that you cannot dispose of the oxygen in the water and make yourself a nice h-bomb on board?
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Old Aug 22, 07, 12:05 pm
  #50  
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Originally Posted by DEVIS View Post
Can you prove that you cannot dispose of the oxygen in the water and make yourself a nice h-bomb on board?
Out, out, damn devil's advocate.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by DEVIS View Post
Can you prove that you cannot dispose of the oxygen in the water and make yourself a nice h-bomb on board?
Yeah, I think I could prove that I'm not that smart.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
A crack pipe in and of itself is not suspicious. Not in terms of items going on a plane anyway.



Because that crackhead should be apprehended thru other means and not thru the fishing expedition that is the checkpoint. It's NOT your job, and you don't have that authority. There's these little things called rule of law and due process that some citizens demand you stick to. I don't care if the crackhead boards my plane as long as YOU do your job, screen him, and he doesn't have any items that will threaten the plane (bottled water excluded).
Uhmmm...it is part of our job to report suspected drugs. It's in the SOP. Thats why the ruling went the way it did
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Old Aug 22, 07, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by tsadude1 View Post
Uhmmm...it is part of our job to report suspected drugs. It's in the SOP. Thats why the ruling went the way it did
An agency's SOP does not have the force of law. I think a more appropriate question is, "What legal authority do you have to 'report drugs?'" Can you cite a specific federal statute that defines the scope of authority for TSO's?
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Old Aug 22, 07, 1:45 pm
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Originally Posted by vassilipan View Post
An agency's SOP does not have the force of law. I think a more appropriate question is, "What legal authority do you have to 'report drugs?'" Can you cite a specific federal statute that defines the scope of authority for TSO's?
I think you'd need to call D.C. for that information. Good luck
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Old Aug 22, 07, 2:04 pm
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Originally Posted by vassilipan View Post
An agency's SOP does not have the force of law. I think a more appropriate question is, "What legal authority do you have to 'report drugs?'" Can you cite a specific federal statute that defines the scope of authority for TSO's?
We've been through this in several previous threads. A TSO has no more and no less of a duty to report "criminal activity" than any other US citizen; and such a report would be given greater credence as being from an identified informant (ie. not a 'tip').

The question comes back to the scope of the consent aspect of airport checkpoint searches, which USSC (I think, or some appellate ?) has ruled are constitutional. The argument, which AFAIK has not been successfully challenged, is whether specific non-threat items discovered during an adminstrative search ought to be deemed poisoned fruit in a criminal indictment.

Good luck getting any court to rule on that, let alone favorably (to some of us).
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Old Aug 22, 07, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Out, out, damn devil's advocate.
Ummm no, just a TSA Aproved Realist (Oh god this is a bigger joke than Iraqi WMDs)

Originally Posted by hockeyguy View Post
Yeah, I think I could prove that I'm not that smart.
TSA has openings... don't they?
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Old Aug 22, 07, 3:07 pm
  #57  
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Originally Posted by tsadude1 View Post
Uhmmm...it is part of our job to report suspected drugs. It's in the SOP. Thats why the ruling went the way it did
Since when is SOP law? As vassilipan said, it's not law. And just because it's SOP doesn't mean it's legal either.

Furthermore, it revolved around whether he could revoke his consent or not. Maybe I missed something, but I don't see that it was challenged on scope. That's the kind of challenge we really need to see.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 3:08 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by DEVIS View Post
TSA has openings... don't they?
Only if you can pass the IQ test. You must score somewhere between lemming and sheep.
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Old Aug 22, 07, 3:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Furthermore, it revolved around whether he could revoke his consent or not.
Courts have covered that too; consent cannot be withdrawn once a passenger's belongings are on the xray belt or the passenger has entered the WTMD.

The TSA tries to extend that to just being in line (prior to the belt/bins) but they have no jurisdiction there. Which will not of course stop them from summoning a LEO since you have thus acted "'spishusly"
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Old Aug 22, 07, 3:31 pm
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Wally Bird View Post
Courts have covered that too; consent cannot be withdrawn once a passenger's belongings are on the xray belt or the passenger has entered the WTMD.

The TSA tries to extend that to just being in line (prior to the belt/bins) but they have no jurisdiction there. Which will not of course stop them from summoning a LEO since you have thus acted "'spishusly"
Bottom line is that this was a bad test case.

In thinking like FliesWay2Much, I think a cleaner test case needs to be made. It's why I think carrying a lot of cash in an empty bag would make a good case. Of course, one would need to be willing to part with it for awhile, but I think it would eliminate the criminal aspect of it and challenge the search and subsequent confiscation of a nongermaine item.
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